Today as Spain are meeting Italy in the Euros,I thought this would be the best time to discuss the style of football they historically represent.Spanish sides in the near past and present have redefined football to a large extent,whereas the Italian sides of the past (Herrera's Inter in the 60s) gave fame to the Catenaccio,the polar opposite of tiki taka.Let's have a look at them...
What exactly is Tiki Taka ? Wikipedia says " Tiki Taka is a style of play in association football, characterised by short passing and movement, working the ball through various channels, and maintaining possession. The style is primarily associated with La Liga club FC Barcelona and the Spanish National Team under managers Luis Aragones and Vicente Del Bosque, whose national squads have featured Barça players."For me Tiki Taka is extremely intelligent quick passing to go with impeccable runs into spaces. Lose your life rather than lose the ball.We recently met the best team in the world practicing this form of football and we managed to tame them to some extent.What style of football did we use? It was nearer to Catenaccio than not in my opinion.
Catenaccio? Is it kicking the opposition players in the nuts to break play up? Is it having King Drogba (I miss him :( ) in your team? Well,essentially,Catenaccio is,as per Wikipedia," a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means "door-bolt", implying a highly organised and effective backline defence focused on nullifying opponents' attacks and preventing goal-scoring opportunities." In short it is having a strong defence(parked bus) and waiting for the right opportunity to hit a killer blow on the opposition.It more often than not leads to tight games,0-0,1-0,2-1 etc.
Lets see an example of either-
Barca best passing moves-
Chelsea vs Barcelona(DD11 goal)
I chose this DD11 video because of the awesome background music ,so anyone wishing for a better video quality,take this.
Catenaccio,so is counter attacking + emphasized defending and contrastingly Tiki Taka is emphasized attacking + counter defending.The awesome Arron Duckling,in his article at fellow SBN site "Barca Blaugranes",called the Barca style of playing the perfect way of playing.Well,is it?
Tiki Taka has a nemesis,El Catenaccio.As proved by Chelsea this season vs. Barca and Inter against the same team,Catenaccio doesn't let the Spanish water flow underneath.The all-knowing Michael Cox of the Zonal Marking fame wrote an article once,title"Best teams of the decade",wherein the best Catenaccial display of the decade HAS found its way above the best Tiki Taka displays.For those wondering,the best team of the decade was Greece(the team with Papa.....s) in the 2004 version of the Euros,followed by the dominant Barca team.
Which form is more fail-proof? I'd say Catenaccio,purely because the teams using this style are more likely to score than to concede,whereas against Tiki Taka,Catenaccial teams tend to hurt them on the counter like Chelsea did to Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
Which form is more pleasing to the eye? Again I'd say Catenaccio,because what would you like to see,pass pass pass or unexpected movements? I daresay the latter.
Now to an On Topic,yet Off Topic discussion.Which style would you see being played at Chelsea? Do choose between Catenaccio and Tiki Taka.
Do share your views regarding which is the better form of football and what you'd like at Chelsea.Thanks for reading.